“RM10 million for Chinese primary schools”
“RM5 million for Chinese independent secondary schools”
“RM3 million for Christian missionary schools”
The newspaper was reporting on a grand ceremony where Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak handed over cheques for the above amounts to the respective representatives of these schools.
Najib said Barisan Nasional was the only “true friend” that Chinese educationists can count on. He further said: “Please, I help you, you help me.”
“It won’t cost you anything to give us what we want. We will do what we should to give you what you want. And you know what I want.”
In their moment of jubilation over this once-in-a-lifetime titanic windfall of cash for the Chinese and Christian schools, the local community should perhaps ponder these questions:
- If there was no by-election, would these schools have received any of the above cash?
- Does anyone have the slightest doubt of what Najib wants from you as a trade off?
- Was it not absolutely clear to you that Najib was asking for your votes when he gave you the money?
Najib was trying to solicit for your votes with the above cash hand-out.
The money does not belong to Najib or Barisan Nasional, but to the citizens of the country.
Such impromptu hand-out of cash with the ulterior motive to bribe for votes is an abuse of power in addition to committing corruption.
Now, what should we do with the prime minister who has just committed election bribery as well as abuse of power?
We can report his offence to the Election Commission (EC) and the police for them to take action against him.
Or we can take legal action like what Pakatan Rakyat leader Datuk Zaid Ibrahim is doing over similar offence in the recent Hulu Selangor by-election.
The first option did not seem to work, as the EC and police have always played deaf and blind to election offences committed by BN leaders.
The second option did not seem to have made an impression on Najib and his cohorts, otherwise
Najib would not have so openly committed the same offence.
Fortunately, we have the third option which is also the most powerful and the most effective. And that is to cast your votes against those who try to bribe you.
The Chinese community in Hulu Selangor has just done it. Najib had offered to give RM3 million cash to the Rasa Chinese Primary School on condition that they voted for BN. Despite that tempting offer, over 80 per cent of the Chinese in Rasa voted against BN. They would rather sacrifice the much needed cash than to give up their principle.
And that principle is: Votes are not for sale. It is better to forego short-term benefits than to destroy our long term interests of struggling for a good government to replace the rotten one, a sample of which has been more than clearly illustrated by the conduct of the prime minister himself.
Granting a victory to BN in Sibu is to endorse the perverted principle that it is legally and morally acceptable to use money and other inducement to buy votes.
And that would be the last nail to the coffin that has already virtually buried democracy in this country.
And so the people of Sibu have the wonderful opportunity of putting a stop to this nonsense and save our democratic way of life from extinction by casting their votes wisely.
Will Sibuans prove as valiant and as wise as their compatriots in Hulu Selangor?